(WIP) The First Lightning Bug

This is a story I wrote in Hollins. I’d like to keep working on it to see what will come of it. It was very fun to imagine. It’s complete, but I won’t be posting the entire thing here. This is just to get you interested 🙂 I enjoy origin stories and mythology, though this is the only time I’ve ever written something in that category.


The First Lightning Bug

Ellie flew to the tree at the edge of the forest and settled upon her usual branch. The branch stuck out midway up the towering tree, a perfect height to watch the sunrise. She often ventured there after a night full of chores and cooking. The darkness paled, and she watched the dance of the morning colors in fascinated wonder. The splashes of blue, pink, and gold were such a contrast to her slender black body. All beetles of her kind had long black wings, six legs, and just a little bit of red color around the head. Ellie thought she looked a little boring.

“What must it be like to be so colorful and light?” she wondered aloud to the sky.

Where the forest ended, a farmer’s fields began. The log cabin he built for himself, his wife, and their son stood close to the forest. The door opened and the burly farmer stepped out, followed closely by the son. Ellie decided the boy must be around eleven or twelve, since she thought that must be what her age looked like on humans. The mother appeared in the doorway to wave as they left.

The boy and his father carried large, thick sticks with a kind of wire looped through them. Ellie had seen them use these rods in the forest many times. They would find a spot in the river and dip the wire into the water. They caught a lot of fish this way. It seemed like good fun, the boy always laughed when he caught one, and the father would pat him on the shoulder. Ellie had also seen the boy and the farmer setting shiny, jagged things along paths.

“We will have to check the traps later in the evening,” the father told the sun as they passed under the branch where Ellie sat.firefly

The farmer started whistling as the two walked down the path. She smiled at the joy on the boy’s face. It made her think of how happy being around her parents made her.

Her eyes drooped. She wiggled a little to wake herself up, then flew into the soft blue morning. The cool air swished around her body as she curved around leaves and looped once around a twig. Home was the third tree to the right at the bend in the river. She knew her fifteen younger brothers and sisters were already tucked into their holes fast asleep. Her mother always waited for her outside. She smiled when Ellie came near.

“How was your sunrise?”

Ellie rubbed her eyes. “I wish I could shine as brightly as the sun!”

Her mother laughed and hugged her close with two sets of arms. “No beetle has ever had light in them, you know that. Besides, why do you want to be bright? Every creature of the night can see in the dark.”

Ellie frowned a little. Her mother kissed her cheek and sent her to bed.

She shared a room with three of her sisters. They all slept in holes dug into the packed mud and filled down feathers. She settled into her bed and fell sleep wondering what she would look like if she could glow.

That evening, Ellie woke up before everyone else. She slipped silently out of the room and quietly out of the tree. She flew up several branches to look through a clearing in the leaves. The gentle glow of the moon looked hazy through the thick, warm air. A few stars flickered through the building clouds. The lights looked so inviting and comforting.

“I think it would be nice to shine at night, like a star or the moon,” she whispered.

She heard the noise of her brothers and sisters waking up and hurried to help with breakfast.


Featured image found on Pinterest

What are your thoughts?